Supreme Court: The bench of RK Agarwal and AM Sapre, JJ reserved it’s verdict on the plea challenging the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as a special director of the CBI.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO Common Cause, said Rakesh Asthana’s appointment was illegal as his name had surfaced in a diary recovered during a raid conducted by the Income Tax department. He argued that the diary showed the name of Rakesh Asthana as having received an illegal gratification from a company and CBI has recently registered an FIR for money laundering against the accused firm and some public servants. Demanding quashing of Rakesh Asthana’s appointment, the petitioner has also sought a direction to the Centre to transfer him out of the agency during the pendency of investigation.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, on the other hand, argued that Rakesh Asthana had an outstanding career and was looking after eleven zones and supervising high- profile scams including that of AgustaWestland, Kingfisher, Moin Qureshi and Hassan Ali.
While seeking Rakesh Asthana’s ouster, the plea noted the special director was the second in command in the CBI after the director and supervised almost all important cases being handled by the agency.
The verdict is likely to be pronounced on 28.11.2017.